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By Lucia St. Clair Robson

After the execution of her father, the younger and gorgeous girl Asano is in grave threat from the strong Lord Kira. on the way to store herself Asano needs to locate Oishi, the chief of the combating males of her extended family. She believes he's 300 miles to the southwest within the imperial urban of Kyoto.
Disguising her loveliness within the humble clothing of a touring priest, and calling herself Cat, girl Asano travels the fabled Tokaido street. Her merely instruments are her speedy wits, her samurai education, and her lethal, six foot-long naginata. and she or he will desire all of them, for a ronin has been employed to pursue her, a mysterious guy who will play a job in Cat's drama that neither may have ever imagined. . . .

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From the clusters of strong straw sandals dangling approximately an outdated woman’s individual, Cat chosen 8 at ten coppers each one. She began to placed them onto the furoshiki, yet Kasane held her hand out to take them and the material package deal, too. the area used to be again to common. another individual used to be sporting Cat’s burdens. subsequent Cat shopped for nutrition for the adventure. She hadn’t the least suggestion the right way to cook dinner whatever, yet she had discovered that the kitchen staffs of lodges might arrange nutrition provided by means of the visitors, thereby scaling down on accommodation costs. the diversity of nutrients on the market right here used to be bewildering. “Our confections have been celebrated by way of the august tea grasp Sen no Rikyu himself, Your Honor. ” “Here, the following. The well known prawns of Totsuka. Take them again to the people at domestic. ” Kasane used to be much more bewildered than Cat. She had by no means obvious loads nutrition. She couldn’t learn, so she didn’t recognize what was once within the artistically wrapped and categorized programs of neighborhood food, the “Namethings” for which Totsuka used to be well-known. She did be aware of that they have been dear. She watched in amazement as her new grasp obtained pickled ginger and Totsuka’s prawns, in addition to small dried flying fish plaited horizontally right into a straw twine and rice dumplings crammed with sweetened bean jam and wrapped within the papery sheaths of bamboo shoots. Cat did purchase tea and uncooked rice, yet in basic terms the costliest kind of every one. whilst she obtained enamel powder and a willow twig toothbrush, the lady promoting them bowed low and provided her with a tiny packet of toothpicks as omake, an advantage. “Luck to the seller,” the girl stated. Cat used to be as happy by way of the modest reward as via any dear current she had ever acquired. subsequent she obtained an ink stick and stone in a undeniable wood writing case and brushes in bamboo tubes. She extra a flint, a tortoiseshell comb, and a crisp, darkish blue loincloth. She received 4 coppers’ worthy of Willow model tobacco, a packet of inexpensive paper handkerchiefs, and a heavy paper folding pockets within which to place them. She selected a hempen go back and forth cloak and a paper raincoat permeated with persimmon juice to make it water-repellent. She smiled while the service provider threw in a small towel for omake. Cat tied her ultimate purchases, snoozing straw mats, on best of Kasane’s pack. by the point Cat complete, the furoshiki had grown so massive that Kasane may rarely be obvious at the back of it. Kasane used to be astonished. She had by no means noticeable such extravagance. Her new grasp used to be the type to hold a lantern on a moonlit evening. owners and retailers have been packing their inventory into baggage and baskets and extinguishing their lanterns. Cat heard the squeal of wood axles as farmers wheeled their unsold items away of their bulky barrows. The marketplace used to be taking up an deserted air. the gang was once thinning. The beggars have been leaving with their straw cushions below their hands. road entertainers have been amassing up their tools and props. quickly all of the stands will be screened with mats or boarded up or dismantled. no longer sufficient humans will be left to supply conceal for Cat and her silent, unwelcome significant other.

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